Late on the evening of January 14, 2016 two marine helicopters collided off the North Shore of Oahu. Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas was one of those brave marines aboard Pegasus 31 & Pegasus 32 that were lost in that accident.
This fund is established to collect donations in order to create a lasting memorial to Tommy in his home town of Ft. Myers, FL. The goal is to erect a large flag pole and a marker to honor Tommy's life and service to others. He was a very fine young man making excellent decisions in his life as it was tragically cut short.
Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas served as a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crew chief at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Jardas, 22, from Ft. Myers, Florida, joined the Marine Corps on May 6, 2011.
Jardas’ decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Your support in this memorial effort is very much appreciated by Tommy's family and friends at this very difficult time.
UPDATE: The vision has expanded to now allow consideration for the incorporation of the modified HMH-463 patch that was created for the 12 marines lost on January 14, 2016. Should enough funds be raised, the patch will be laser engraved on the granite monument that will be erected at the memorial site for Tommy. Please continue to provide your support.
UPDATE: As a result of the generosity of family, friends and those touched by the sacrifice this fine young man made in selfless service to others, we have surpassed our original goal and can now expand our vision for a lasting tribute to Tommy. We can now consider a lighted flagpole so the Stars and Stripes can fly 24/7/365 with pride. We can also consider benches for reflection and a small garden in his honor. Please continue to provide your support for the creation of a lasting memorial to USMC Cpl Thomas J. Jardas. We are very proud of you, Tommy!!!!
My name is Bruce Bates, my wife is Haely Bates and she is the 1st cousin of Beth Haely who is Tommy's mother. I have taken the lead in this effort to create the lasting memorial for Tommy in his home town where his parents continue to reside and he had a positive impact on the lives of so many around him.
GoFundMe has asked that I clarify for all contributors that I, Bruce Bates, will be controlling the distribution of funds for the creation of the lasting Tommy Memorial in Ft. Myers. We have secured agreement from his high school for installation of the memorial and are in negotiations with a company that installs hurricane proof flag poles. Will be working with landscape company as well to complete the project. Vendors will be paid from the funds collected here on Tommy's behalf. Should there be any excess funds once the memorial is completed these will be used to purchase extra flags that will be given to Tommy's mother so she can always be sure that a flag worthy of Tommy's service is flying proudly.
5/3/16 Update: Lee Designs, the company I have been working with on a flag pole quote has very generously agreed to donate the 30' hurricane pole along with permitting and installation. This is a FANTASTIC boost to our efforts at creating a lasting memorial to Tommy. I know Tommy's family, friends and supporters are extremely appreciative of this significant gift from Lee Designs! Great big THANK YOU to Lee Designs.
11/21/16 Update: The memorial site is nearing completion and the dedication ceremony is being planned for the 1 year anniversary of the tragedy, January 14, 2017 at the site. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. As we near the end of the campaign any excess funds collected will be used to create a scholarship fund in Tommy's name at his high school. Please continue to provide your generous support.